Mental Floss

Founded in a Duke University dorm room in 2001, Mental Floss has reached billions of readers with interesting content that answers life’s big questions and uncovers amazing facts.

With the Amazing Fact Generator, you’ll discover amazing things like:

  • Opossums don’t “play dead.” When frightened , they get overexcited and pass out.
  • Chinese checkers was invented in Germany.
  • Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas dropped out of high school but picked up his GED in 1993. His GED class voted him Most Likely to Succeed.
  • A black cat crossing your path (from right to left) is considered good luck in Germany.

Get answers to life’s Big Questions like:

  • Why is Memorial Day always on a Monday?
  • What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day?
  • Why is the American flag displayed backwards on military uniforms?

Test your knowledge on various Quizzes like:

  • Can you name these birds by their pictures?
  • Can you guess which words are trademarked?
  • How well do you know Pokemon trivia?

K12 Historical Marker Contest

Students and classrooms can submit suggested historical markers through the portal below, or by mailing their submission to the Department of Historic Resources. 

Mailed submissions may be printed out, or written on our Blank Historical Marker Template.

Submissions should include:

  1. Name of Student
  2. Name of Teacher
  3. Name of School
  4. Name of School Division
  5. Suggested Name of Marker (Person, Group, Event, or Place)
  6. Dates of Significance (Dates of birth and death if an individual, or date of event. This field is optional.)
  7. Description of Marker (3-5 sentences)
  8. Suggested Location for Marker

Suggested historical markers must be submitted by Monday, March 15, 2021 to be considered. After submissions are received, the Department of Historical Resources and Governor’s Cabinet will select the top submissions. https://www.education.virginia.gov/bhm-marker-contest/#

CosmoBuzz

This resource couldn’t be any easier to use. It’s an online multiplayer buzzer system you can use with your students for drill or assess them while you teach. Have students answer questions in a text box or drill them for speed in recalling facts. Students love competition! You can also just have them use the buzzer to ring in and be ready to answer when called upon. It’s free and very simple to use.

Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!

Are your kids studying animals and need a project to reinforce what they are learning? Then consider this: Augmented Reality for the animal and a Diorama for the animal’s habitat.

Visualize learning with Google’s new Augmented Reality (AR) mobile / tablet feature that allows you to project a 3D animal on your screen in a setting of your choosing or as an object you can manipulate. It’s easy, no app required.

How To Use

  1. Open Chrome and enter a search for your favorite animal on your smartphone or tablet. (Make sure your settings allow Chrome to access your camera).
  2. Scroll down until you find a new white box that says “Meet a life-sized [animal] up close.” with an animation of said animal under the wikipedia info.
  3. Click on the “View in 3D” icon to the left of the animal within the box.
  4. At this point your screen will change like a pop-out window.
  5. There are two tabs at the top –
    Object – where you can manipulate the animal.
    AR – where your animal will appear in your setting. Wiggle your phone or tablet until the animal appears. Use the diorama for the background setting.

ANIMAL LISTING – Alligator, Angler fish, Brown bear, Cat, Cheetah, Dog, Duck, Eagle, Emperor penguin, Goat, Hedgehog, Horse, Leopard, Lion, Macaw, Octopus, Pug, Giant panda, Rottweiler, Shark, Shetland pony, Snake, Tiger, Turtle, Wolf.
New animals are added periodically.

Look what I found in my backyard!